ND Women’s Lacrosse
Irish earn decisive victory in season opener
Olivia Schatz | Monday, February 13, 2023
The Notre Dame women’s lacrosse team crushed the San Diego State Aztecs in their season opener 18-2. Notre Dame’s hot start came courtesy of goals from 10 different players, five of whom were substitutes.
The Irish are known for their electric starts to seasons, with a 22-4 all-time record in openers. While they had a bit of a slow start, junior midfielder Mary Kelly Doherty would begin the scoring for the Irish. After Doherty scored, Irish goals flooded in. Under four minutes later, Notre Dame went up 5-0, with unassisted goals from senior midfielder Kasey Choma and senior attack Madison Ahern, with another tally from senior attack Jane McAvoy, assisted by senior attacker Jackie Wolak. Junior attacker Alexandra McHugh also scored on a free-position shot.
While the Aztecs were able to score once in the first quarter, the Irish shut down any hopes of catching up. They closed out the frame with three more Notre Dame goals from three different goal scorers, two of which were assisted on.
The Irish’s dominance was in part a result of their outstanding performance on the draw. Headed by junior midfielder Kelly Denes, the Irish had an 8-1 edge draw controls in the first and 19-4 overall. Denes collected 11 herself.
The second quarter started off in similar fashion, this time with a goal from junior attacker Abby Maichin, assisted by sophomore attacker Marleigh Sanders. Although the Irish offense was not as prominent in the second, they did not take their foot off the gas. Ahern would score twice within a minute to collect a hat trick. Wolak would then score with seven minutes remaining off of a free position shot.
The Irish entered the half up 12-1 and again added fuel to the fire. Choma was the first to score, assisted by McAvoy. And while the Aztecs would be able to score once more with a little over three minutes in the quarter, the Irish were too far ahead. Notre Dame found the back of the net four more times in the fourth to seal an 18-2 victory to begin their 2023 campaign.
Ahern led the way with four goals on the night while Wolak paced the Irish with two assists. The Irish did not only excel at scoring, however. In her first career start, junior goaltender Lilly Callahan came through with nine saves.
The Irish will look to use this momentum as they prepare to travel for a difficult test against No. 4 Northwestern. The Wildcats just recently lost against No. 5 Syracuse 16-15, which means Northwestern will be looking for revenge against the No. 16 Irish. The game is on Feb. 16 and begins at 7 pm ET.